We share mutated love, you and I,
Misunderstood, as if we are Romeo and Juliet,
I fall in love with you, dear cell, because I need you.
A virus is destined to love its host,
no matter how many antibodies try to stop us,
our love will be so powerful, it can kill.
Because of my undying love, I will corrupt you,
I kiss your membrane, until we are fused together,
I dance with you, in the blood ballroom,
doing a terminal tango.
We will replicate, to show our undying love,
become stronger with every antigenic shift.
Let our love be infectious,
till cure do us part.
This poem is written from the perspective of a virus that is in love with its host. As I studied viruses during school, I became fascinated with the structure of viruses and the phases of infection. This interest evolved into my poem “Mutated Love.” In the poem, I draw reference to Romeo and Juliet and other teen love tropes, such as a corrupting rebel, dance parties and a dramatic love. Combining the elements of a love poem and the cycle of an infection, I weaved a poem about a deadly love.